Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was on Monday declared winner of the highly contested presidential election in Zambia.
With 155 of 156 constituencies reporting, official results showed Hichilema had captured a landslide of 2,810,757 votes against 1,814,201 for President Edgar Lungu.
“I therefore declare the said Hakainde Hichilema to be president-elect of the Republic of Zambia,” electoral commission chairman Justice Esau Chulu said in a televised address.
After the declaration, Hichilema addressed addressed a Press Conference thanking the people of Zambia and below is the full statement of the President’-Elect.
My fellow citizens,
It is with great honour, humility and gratitude that I stand before you today to say change is here. We have prevailed. Zambia has prevailed. This victory does not belong to me, but to the men and women of Zambia. You came out in large numbers, with great energy and passion, and you sent a clear and resounding message that has reverberated around the world. It is time for change.
And through this message, you have tasked HH, Mutale Nalumango and the UPND Alliance with forming your next government, and delivering this change. I thank you for your support. I pray we will be worthy of your trust. Brothers and sisters, it is indeed a new day in Zambia. A new beginning for us all. With the election behind us, let us come together as Zambians. One Zambia. One Nation.
To those who voted for other candidates, we extent our hand, in friendship and respect. Though today you may be disappointed, I embrace you as your brother and as your servant. I will be a President of all Zambians, of those that voted for me and of those that did not. We will govern without fear or favour, without preference for any group over another. Indeed, the values of inclusivity, equality and diversity will be at the core of our administration.
Now is the time to move forward, beyond the partisanship of the election period towards a more prosperous and more united future. Let us put the past behind us, for it is what we do now, in the present, that will define our future.
To our competitors, we thank you for your participation in these elections. We are grateful for your gracious concessions, and for your acknowledgment of our victory. To you we pledge to foster a better democracy where your voices and your democratic rights are freely exercised. We invite you to work together with us, as we build a better Zambia, together.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank my running mate Ms. Mutale Nalumango, all the members of the UPND Alliance, our candidates, our campaign teams and well-wishers who worked tirelessly on the front lines and behind the scenes. We would not be here today without your hard work and dedication.
I thank my beloved wife Mutinta, who has always been by my side through thick and thin. You will make an incredible First Lady. To my children and the rest of my family, your love and enduring support has been a great source of strength. I give thanks to our God Almighty, without whom this day would not be possible. My fellow citizens, we have an enormous task ahead to revive our economy and deliver on your expectations.
The journey will be tough and challenging, there will be ups and downs, but I am certain that with hard work and commitment, we will succeed in building a better life for you and your children. Finally, let me thank again my masters, the people of Zambia, for the mandate you have given us to serve you. We will not let you down.
God Bless you all. And God Bless the Republic of Zambia.